El Zelig

Despite a Decade of Unfulfilled Hope, El Pelos builds a rock en espanol scene

Pelos plays lead guitar at these gigs with El Chivo Expiatorio—comprising himself, a brother and a cousin—but mostly assumes the role of MC, introducing no-namers and working the crowds with his self-deprecating chilango wit. He also acts as an advisor to neophytes from other dormant Latin alternative areas.

"Whenever we have shows here, we'll get people from San Bernardino, Riverside, even Sacramento, who come. I ask them, 'Why did you drive all the way out here?' And they say the same thing we say here: 'It's because there's nothing out there.' It's the same problem everywhere.

"Don't make me out to be that much of a proselytizer," he suddenly blurts. "I still want my band to succeed and play at all the shows I organize. But in order for us to succeed, we need everyone to succeed."

Pelos sighs mournfully, the type of sigh one exhales when realizing the necessity and absurdity of love. "I'm in love with Orange County rock en español, although it's like an abusive relationship. I stay here because I sense that there is amazing potential here and that it could be great. But you know what's funny? That's what I thought 10 years ago. The scene is an ingrate—it never supports anyone, just serves itself. But that's why you want to improve it all the time. I'll always have hope."

El Chivo Expiatorio performs with Las 15 Letras at JC Fandango, 1086 N. State College Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 758-9998. www.jcf.com. Thurs., Jan. 15, 8 p.m. $8. 16+.

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